Dogwood Tree Leaves Turning Red? [3 Reasons & Solutions]

Dogwood trees are a species of flowering trees that originated in the Eastern part of North America and northern Mexico. These trees produce beautiful pink flowers all around the year and they are not seasonal. If you love flowering trees, you must get a Dogwood tree and add it to your garden. This will make your garden look more attractive and unique at the same time.

Dogwood Tree Leaves Turning Red

However, a tree without proper health is nothing and you need to take care of the health requirements of a tree. With even the slightest negligence, these trees will start showing symptoms of poor health like the ones mentioned below: 

1. Dogwood Borer

Dogwood borers are tiny moths with their wings are striped in yellow and black. They mostly feed on the tree back and make the leaves appear red. They can lead to lumps towards the lower part of the base of the trunk which is known as burr knots. 

If there’s a serious infection, the branches and leaves start falling off. If you don’t control them at the right time, the feeding may become the reason for your dogwood tree to die. 

Dogwood Borer


You can try easy control methods for these borers by selecting the best insecticide. Use top-quality insecticide on the dogwood tree. Follow all instructions on the package and for good results, apply them near the tree’s base. You can also use the insecticide on the entire surface of leaves and barks properly to kill the borers. Try out various DIY recipes such as Neem oil, horticultural oil, and insecticidal soap to treat this. Here are the recipes you can try: 

  • Neem oil recipe

Neem oil spray is a very useful treatment for insect attacks like dogwood borers. Prepare a mixture of 5 tbsp. Neem oil In 5 liters of water. Transfer it into a spray bottle and start spraying two days a week on your Dogwood trees. You can spray it frequently as a prevention measure. 

  • Horticultural oil recipe 

The ingredients you need for this recipe are 250 ml of olive oil, or any other vegetable oil and 1 tbsp. liquefied dish soap. Add the oil and soap together and start mixing well. Store this mixture in a container. Add 4 tbsp. of this solution to each liter of water and transfer it into a spray bottle. Spray it on the dogwood tree two days a week till the pests are killed. Use it regularly to keep it protected from future pest attacks. 

  • Insecticidal soap recipe 

This recipe is effective in killing borers as it suffocated them leading to their death. The ingredients required 2 tbsp. Liquid dishwasher soap and 500 ml cooking oil. Start by adding the liquid soap and oil together and prepare a mixture. Transfer this mixture to the sprayer. Add 1 tbsp. of this mixture to 1 liter of water. Start spraying directly to both sides of the surface of bark and leaves. 

2. Anthracnose 

Anthracnose is a commonly diagnosed fungal infection in Dogwood trees. It is a severe disease for these trees as it can be dangerous for them. Anthracnose grows in moist, shady, and cool environments. 

Due to this infection, the leaves will become purple and red blotches towards the edge. It can even attack fruits and flowers. Gradually, the flowers and leaves start dropping. These symptoms start showing during the spring. Mostly, it starts with low tree branches and moves towards the top. Also, this infection transmits very quickly in water. 



The best solution to this problem is to remove the diseased leaves initially and throw them carefully. Make sure to not let them get into contact with the rest of the trees. Now, you should choose a suitable fungicide for your dogwood tree that doesn’t cause damage to the bloom. Use fungicide in the early spring season on the base of the dogwood tree. You can also use the recipes mentioned below: 

  • Copper Spray 

The ingredients which you need for this recipe are 1 gallon of water, 60 ml of copper sulfate, and 10 tbsp. hydrated calcium hydroxide. Mix hydrated lime with water in a plastic bucket. Don’t use any metallic bucket as there can be a reaction. Stir the mixture using a plastic spoon. Don’t use a metal spoon. 

  • Baking soda spray 

The ingredients you need in this recipe are 4 tbsp. Baking soda, 2 tbsp. Dishwashing liquid, 4 liter water, and 2 tbsp. Cooking oil. Mix cooking oil and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Then, add liquid soap. Mix water and start stirring slowly. Now, transfer it to a spray bottle. Spray on your dogwood tree two days a week. Continue spraying till the infection goes away. 

3. Leaf scorch

In case of very high temperatures and dry weather, leaf scorch can happen easily. Dogwoods don’t have an intense root system. So, they can become victims of environmental stress easily. In the dry and hot seasons, the leaves become brown and red with fragile edges. Gradually, the leaves start to fall off. 

Leaf scorch may not kill your dogwood trees but it can make them weak. So, you must start treating the tree immediately as the weak trees can get attacked by any pests and infection easily. 

Leaf scorch


Water your dogwood trees in the proper amount in dry weather. You can avail of a moisture meter to maintain a proper watering schedule. New dogwood trees need much more water, particularly in the first year. Also, use 3-4 inches of mulch to maintain moisture in the soil for a prolonged period. 


These are some of the main reasons why your dogwood tree leaves may turn yellow. Each cause has its solution mentioned above and once you’re sure about a particular cause, you must use the right solution to eradicate the cause as soon as you can. If you find the leaves of your dogwood trees to turn red, you can expect the cause to be any one of these. Just follow the right process and keep your dogwood tree away from infections and diseases. 

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